Frank Sciarretta and Emily Costanza

franksciarretta-emilycostanzaFrank Sciarretta and Emily Costanza have something special. When you meet them, the dazzling sparkle in their eyes and their beaming smiles make you grin from ear to ear, too. It’s the kind of magic that movies are made of…a real modern love story.

They met through a mutual friend at Canine Companions for Independence on Long Island. And sparks went flying from their very first get-together. Now congratulations are in order, as Emily (a professional vocalist) and Frank (a computer systems manager), both of whom have spinal cord disorders, are happily engaged and planning a September wedding. Their amazing support dogs, black labs named Bastien and Carmel, complete the loving family package.

franksciarretta-emilycostanza-1Wherever they need to go, there’s plenty of room for everyone in Frank’s 2008 retrofitted Toyota Sienna. The lowered floor allows him to roll on in and drive directly from his wheelchair. He appreciates the convenience of not having to transfer to another seat in order to drive. The van was also equipped by Bussani Mobility Team with Easy Lock for both driver and passenger, which allows them to lock down automatically. So there’s no need to hassle with manual tie-downs.

“We wouldn’t have been able to have as much fun and as active a dating life as we have without the comfort and convenience of my van,” said Frank Sciarretta.

Frank has been a customer and friend to Bussani Mobility Team for the past 30 years. He even remembers playing wheelchair basketball, way back when, with a young Dan Bussani. Over the years, Frank has had four wheelchair vans and two adaptive sedans, all from Bussani Mobility Team.

“My adaptive vehicles gave me the independence to go out into the real world, to get an education and earn a living for myself,” Frank added. “Back in the early years, John Bussani was the only one around offering adaptive driving equipment. Now there are others. But John and his team are the only ones I trust.”

With the love of his life by his side and a wedding coming up, Frank is understandably in very high spirits. But we know that there were challenges along that way that had to be overcome. So we asked him what personal insights he could share with others who are living with physical disabilities, and perhaps those who are newly injured.

“Never let your situation get the best of you,” he said. “Keep trying. And don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions – on the Internet and through groups like the Spinal Cord Association on Long Island and at events like Abilities Expos. There are always people out there with the same problems that you’re facing and they have solutions.”

Well Frank and Emily, we can hardly wait to see the wedding pictures!

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